In the dark era before everyone knew what Pitchfork was and music flowed as sweetly and abundantly as rainwater through the many tributaries of the Web, there were scant few places for weird suburban teens who loved tunes to feel like they belonged. One of the lights in the darkness, undoubtedly, was a little show called "Gilmore Girls," replete with literary references, copious tunes and more autumnal scenes than one could shake a just-turned-scarlet leaf at.
And, friends, that miraculous show is primed to make a reentrance into the pop-cultural zeitgeist, as come October 1, the whole series will be invading Netflix accounts -- and weird, alt-teen hearts -- around the globe.
In honor of the early '00s show's return to the small and big screen, we've complied a list of musical moments that prove just how hipster the ladies of Stars Hollow were -- before the word gotten dragged into the mainstream and slapped on everyone wearing a plaid shirt with a predilection for synth-pop.
1.) Rory Totally Discovered The Shins
Before "Garden State" and Zach Braff made The Shins a totally mainstream thing (lives were changed before you existed, oh! Natalie Portman-spun manic pixie dream girl), Rory asserted her loner status by listening to "Know Your Onion!" alone at her prep school lunch table. (The band was also on a weird college episode in which Rory and Paris kissed on Spring Break to impress dudes.)
2.) 'Gilmore Girls' Taught Us To Hate Corporate Shilling Via Nick Drake
Back before the writers turned Dean into a hulking, scowling Monster Truck-loving bore (to make bad boy Jess more appealing, no doubt), he totally hipstered out over dearly departed English singer-songwriter Nick Drake's inclusion in an ad used to sell cars.
"How much does it suck that they used 'Pink Moon' in a Volkswagen commercial?" Dean asks, picking up a CD in Rory's room in an awkward exchange on the heels on their first kiss.
If you were alive at that time you probably remember the ad well -- if you're not old like me, click here. Some of you may have also discovered Nick Drake via that ad (not me...), therefore rendering you less cool than Dean.
3.) The Ladies Were Really Into XTC -- The Band, Not The Party Drug
New Wave cult classic band XTC got major play during the show's fast-talking TV reign. First, best friend Lane has a full-on running-up-the-stairs-screaming fit when their final record Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) drops, immediately blasting stand-out track "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love" to the Loreleis' delight (and mine -- I bought the record a day later). Then, Rory and Jess have their first BF/GF kiss at a gas station to the soundtrack of "Then She Appeared."
4.) They Wanted To Publish Zines (Or At Least Read Them)
Jess, every future alt-girl's unattainable ideal, wore a Punk Planet T-shirt on one episode of the show, a piece of merch acquired from a now-defunct underground punk zine based in Chicago. And lest you think he's just poser-ing out by wearing the goods, the James-Dean-in-training is also seen reading the zine from time to time over the course of the series. Raise your hand if you applied for an internship at Punk Planet when you were in college? Just me? Cool.
5.) Lorelei's Dream Birthday Gift Is A Piece Of Epic Rock Memorabilia
Bruce McCulloch made a rather random cameo on "GG" as the overly chipper night manager of Lorelei's inn basically to serve one purpose: to gift Mama Gilmore with Joe Strummer's (RIP) leather jacket -- the he wore during the 1979 Pearl Harbour tour. And I thought my NOBUNNY jacket was cool...
6.) 'Gilmore Girls' Taught Us To Judge Paramours Based On Their Musical Taste -- Or Lack Thereof
Remember when Tristan tried to woo Rory with PJ Harvey tickets and then he thought PJ Harvey was a dude? Notice how they never dated? Mmm-hmm...
7.) Bjork Makes A Cameo
Not, like, in person -- but as a snowwoman with serious stroke-mouth that the Gilmores enters into a snowman contest. It's somehow cooler that way, though (pun intended).
8.) And So Do The Bangles
Everyone goes to see live music! Even Paris!
9.) And So Does Sebastian Bach
We're not really sure how cool the Skid Row singer playing a member of Lane's band was, but it was definitely weird. And weird is good by us.
10.) Rock 'N' Roll Marriage Is Possible
In most sitcoms, dating a dude in a band is a recipe for heartbreak, disillusionment and just general cautionary-tale-ness. In "Gilmore Girls," however, not only does Lane date a dude in a band (her band, of which she is the drummer) -- she also marries him. Sure, the ensuing consummation of said marriage should have been added to our "8 Times Your Favorite TV Shows Made Sex Seem Terrifying" list (what with the having-sex-on-a-gross beach and immediately getting pregnant thing), but Lane and her beau did seem like an alright pair.
11.) And Let's Not Forget Carole King...
Not only did the legendary Carole King guest star on the show (as a cranky music store owner who made Lane WORK to learn drums), she also co-wrote and performed the theme song to the show. Annnnd scene. Where you lead, we will follow "Gilmore Girls." Even though following is kinda lame...